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What is Stucco Mesh?

By Emily Espinoza
Updated May 16, 2024
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Stucco mesh is a galvanized wire netting used when installing stucco on the exterior of a building. Stucco mesh provides structure for the stucco as it is applied to the wall. Its use is mostly straightforward, but there are a few specific tips and traits to look out for when using stucco mesh. This material can also be used in many other commercial and residential projects.

The main job of stucco mesh, which is sometimes referred to as stucco lath, is to give strength and structure to the stucco being applied over it. Stucco can be heavy and does not have enough structure on its own to support itself on a wall. The holes in the mesh material are generally hexagonal, but they can also be square. It is best for stucco installation if these holes are between 1 inch (2.54 cm) and 2 inches (5.08) in size. These openings are what allow the stucco mixture to adhere to the wall surface below it while also bonding to the metal frame of the mesh.

It is important that stucco mesh be galvanized or coated in zinc to prevent the formation of rust under the stucco. It is also best to install construction-quality weatherproof paper before putting the mesh in place to ensure that the finished wall will be protected from moisture damage. Stucco mesh is available in a variety of sizes, but the most common size for stucco installation uses 18 gauge wire. When installing the mesh, it is important to use pieces that cover as large an area as possible to guarantee uniform stucco coverage. It is also best to use nails specific for stucco installation, such as galvanized furring nails.

A wire mesh such as stucco mesh can also be used in many other applications aside from the installation of stucco. Some other common uses for this type of material are coverings for windows, tree guards, and in gutters or under eaves. It is also often used in gardens and small animal confinement areas, such as chicken coops or animal pens.

Stucco mesh is a versatile building material that can be used in many ways. Its main application is in the installation of stucco, where it provides a way to support the stucco material while it dries and adheres to a wall. Stucco can give an attractive appearance to a building and is quite popular in the southwestern United States. Without the simple yet effective use of this mesh material, the stucco look wouldn't be possible.

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